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One Piece vs Two Piece Toilet: Here’s How to Choose


You’ll always hear about why it’s so important to choose a good mattress—especially because you spend so much time on it. But there’s another household necessity that doesn’t quite get the love it deserves. Your toilet!

For such an essential commodity, not much thought goes into buying a new toilet. You either get the one-piece or the two-piece model, and that’s that. However, which one is really right for you?

There are some key differences between one-piece and two-piece toilets that you should consider before purchasing. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between the two types of toilet, which has the advantage in different criteria, and ultimately what’s the number one choice for your #2.

One Piece Toilet vs Two Piece Toilet: What’s the Difference?

Before we head any further, let’s define a few key terms when talking toilet.

The Pedestal

The pedestal is the foundation that your toilet is built upon and what raises the toilet above the ground. You’ll find pedestals on almost every single westernized toilet. However, it’s not uncommon to find toilets without pedestals throughout Asia.

The Bowl

This is where the magic happens. It’s the part of the commode that collects your waste and provides the pathway to your septic tank or local sewer system.

The Tank

Your toilet’s tank is the powerhouse of the unit. It’s a reservoir of water that when allowed to empty—aka flushing the toilet—provides the water pressure necessary to evacuate the bowl. The tank also houses the internal components of your toilet’s operating mechanism.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to the original question.

blue ceramic bathroom
Image Credit: Pxfuel

What’s the Biggest Difference Between the Two Toilets?

It’s the physical construction of the toilets themselves. In a one-piece toilet, the three main components are forged into a single piece. And with a two-piece—or coupled toilet– the tank is a separate entity than the bowl and pedestal.

In both instances, the bowl and pedestal always act as a single unit. The tank’s position is what determines between one-piece or two.

Now, this key difference actually provides the basis for most of the criteria you should consider when buying a new toilet.

Determining Factors Between a 1-Piece and 2-Piece Toilet

Buying a new toilet doesn’t have to be too complex. But there are a few areas you should pay close attention to in order to make the right choice for you.


This is probably the most determining factor when it comes to buying a toilet. What does your budget look like?

On average, single piece toilets are more expensive. This is a direct result of the manufacturing process. It just costs more money to create a one piece toilet, and those costs are passed down to the consumer. Depending on the model, two piece toilets can cost half of what their one piece counterparts do!

bathroom interior design
Image Credit: Beyond Time, Shutterstock

Size and Weight

In order to be completely objective here, we’re going to picture two identical toilets—with the exception of one piece vs two piece.

You’ll notice two almost contradictory facts:

  • The one-piece toilet has a slightly lower profile size-wise when compared to the two-piece
  • The one-piece is much heavier than the two-piece

This occurs because the one-piece doesn’t need the extra fittings to connect the tank to the rest of the assembly—a slight advantage. However, since the one-piece is essentially three-in-one, it’ll weigh more than the toilet that’s able to be broken down into fewer components.

Size and weight can make a huge difference in your decision factor. If you’re installing your own toilet and can’t lift heavier objects, a two-piece toilet might be easier for you. Not to mention, if the toilet is being shipped, it’s likely to arrive in two smaller pieces, lessening the cost of shipping than a singular bulky item.

Ease of Installation

Without a doubt, it’s much easier to install a single-piece toilet than a two-piece.

Each toilet will need to be connected to the sewage line and have a wax ring installed. But with the two-piece toilet, you’re going to have to go the extra mile to attach the tank.

And although this seems relatively simple, many things can go wrong here. It can be difficult to properly align and mount the tank, reach connection fittings in tight areas, or the porcelain of either the tank or bowl/pedestal assembly could break.

Function and Durability

This might seem like the determining factor on which type of toilets are best. But the truth is…

They pretty much work and function exactly the same. There’s no real flushing power or durability factor increase between identical one- and two-piece toilets.

The only real thing you need to look out for is the potential formation of cracks caused in two-piece toilets where the tank connects to the toilet assembly. But these are mostly caused by operator error when initially installing the fittings—not the inherent design of the toilet.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Unlike function and durability, this criterion actually has merit. It’s 100% easier to properly clean and disinfect a one-piece toilet. Single-piece toilets all the but eliminate those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies between the tank and bowl where bacteria love to hide.

And with no tank-to-bowl fitting to worry about, there are zero issues with deteriorating gaskets and O-rings. You may need to swap out the tank’s internals every now and then, but then it’s just like every other toilet.

Pros and Cons of One- and Two-Piece Toilets

Left: WOODBRIDGE T-0019 (Amazon) | Right: Toto Eco Drake (Amazon)
Pros for One Piece
  • Easy to Install
  • Easier to Keep Clean
  • Less Overall Maintenance
Pros for Two Piece
  • Much Cheaper
  • Lightweight
Cons for One Piece
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
Cons for Two Piece
  • More Difficult to Clean
  • Harder to Install
  • More Parts that Could Require Maintenance

1-Piece or 2, Which Toilet is Right For You?

After reviewing our criteria, it should be pretty apparent which toilet best fits your situation.

We prefer a one-piece toilet for its ease of installation and simplistic upkeep. However, we do see the merits of getting a two-piece toilet.

If cost is the deciding factor, opt for the two-piece toilet. If you’re going to have trouble manhandling a single-piece toilet… again, go for the two-piece.

Featured Image Credit: John Johnson, Pexels


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